Breer: Cardinals’ Kyler Murray wants contract extension before NFL Draft

Mar 7, 2022, 11:54 AM
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball in the first quarter of the game agains...
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball in the first quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at SoFi Stadium on January 17, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and his desire for a contract extension sooner rather than later continues to be a main talking point around the league.

On Monday, the timeline in which Murray wants his new deal was much more specific, per a report from MMQB’s Albert Breer.

The Kyler Murray situation has potential to get worse before it gets better. And it might not wind up getting better. Here’s the bottom line: Murray’s camp isn’t going to be content to wait until the summer to negotiate a new contract, which is essentially where Arizona was with its franchise quarterback when it was approached about the contract after the season. My understanding is Murray wants this resolved between now and the draft for a couple of reasons.

The reasoning behind Murray’s pre-draft extension desires center around the trade market ahead of the draft and the possibility of a summer holdout that carries “strengthened rules to further punish players who stay away.”

Breer added that Murray might not necessarily demand a trade but he does think “it’s on the table if things don’t go well over the next month or so.”

Add the leadership questions that have been raised about Murray in Arizona’s building—some see him as a sort of independent contractor, and this won’t help change that feeling—and the Cardinals definitely have an interesting few weeks ahead.

Breer’s report comes after a tumultuous start of the offseason for Murray and the Cardinals.

Despite Arizona’s early postseason exit, Murray and the team stayed squarely in NFL spotlight. It all started when it was unearthed that Murray had scrubbed his Instagram page of everything expect a Pro Bowl post from this season and a post when he won the Heisman Trophy in 2018.

On Super Bowl Sunday, reports from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo painted a picture of discontent from both sides.

The Cardinals and Murray ended up trading statements after the news broke. Arizona backed the QB while Murray explained that all the “nonsense” was not something that he was about, “never has been, never will be.”

Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill doubled down on the Cardinals’ feelings on Murray more than a week later while on with Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta, saying he’s among those who love the QB and that he is confident Murray will continue to get better.

Three days later, Murray’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, issued a statement of his own putting onus on the Cardinals, saying “actions speak louder than words.” Burkhardt also represents head coach Kliff Kingsbury. He and general manager Steve Keim both received contract extensions last Wednesday.

Murray just wrapped up the third season of his four-year rookie deal that includes a fifth-year option. Entering Year 4, Murray is expected to make $5.5 million on his current contract.

And although the quarterback would reportedly like to get a deal done before the upcoming draft, it would mark one of the quickest extensions inked when looking at other big-name signal callers who recently got new contracts.

The Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen (August 2021), the Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson (September 2020) and the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes (July 2020) all saw extensions come their way in the summer months after the draft had concluded.

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Breer: Cardinals’ Kyler Murray wants contract extension before NFL Draft